Georgia integrator helps IP and cellular fire alarm communicator get OK for government building use

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SUWANEE, Ga.—Brian Sheely, president of Innovative Life Safety Solutions, a Georgia-based integrator, was instrumental in getting Honeywell’s IP and cellular fire alarm communicator evaluated and found compliant with Government Services Administration security policies.

Because the GSA is the main purchasing agent for the federal government, the successful security evaluation means the IPGSM-DP is authorized for use in federal government facilities throughout the world, according to the company.

Honeywell credits Sheely, whose service-disabled veteran-owned small business focuses solely on the federal marketplace, with first approaching the GSA “with this solution to eliminate the costly phone lines traditionally used to monitor fire alarm systems.”

Sheely told Security Systems News that he contacted GSA’s lead fire protection engineer to tell him about the product. A lengthy testing process eventually ensued. “When Honeywell and I started the testing process, GSA had several concerns at first, but GSA’s IT security testing team really didn’t have a grasp on what this equipment was designed to do. After explaining what the IPGSM-DP was designed to do, and addressing each of their IT security concerns as they arose, we didn’t run into many more problems,” he said.

Sheely described the IPGSM-DP as “a great product that will save taxpayer money.” He said he was able to document for the GSA that the agency could save more than a million dollars each year by eliminating the two phone lines traditionally needed for fire alarm systems. “Each phone line costs $30 per month, times two, for 1,800 buildings, times 12 months – it became a ‘no-brainer’ once GSA did the math themselves,” he said.

Sheely said his company recently installed its first IPGSM-DP in a facility in Atlanta. “I know for a fact this is a first for GSA,” he told SSN. He added that “a potential nationwide roll-out will ensue after six months of successful field testing.”

According to Honeywell, “The IPGSM-DP offers three selectable communications pathways: cellular only, IP only, or IP primary with cellular backup and SMS (Short Message Service) text as secondary backup. Utilizing IP and cellular/GSM technology together improves the reliability and speed of reporting over single path technology devices while verifying the connectivity of the primary pathway every five minutes, as opposed to once-a-day when phone lines are employed.”

The GSA said in a statement that the product would be placed on its internal list of products that GSA project managers often look at “to see which devices will present the least hurdle to moving their projects forward.”